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After 40 years have we finally given up on cracking the London market?


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9 hours ago, crashmon said:

TBH, most people in London will only recognise Halifax (for the Bank), Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield (owing to the football), York, Hull (owing to the only fools and horses espiode) in Yorkshire.  Its just the way it is living in the south. I originally come from Bolton, and even though people have heard of it (Peter kay and football), they have no idea where it is other than some place near manchester. Most londoners would not be able to point to St Helens, Rochdale, Widnes, Warrington etc on a map either, they will know its up North but not exactly where.

Also you have to remember London is huge, from Heathrow in the west to say the Millenium Dome in the east is a larger distance than from St Helens to Leeds.

Firstly, I’m not sure it’s just a “southern thing” and the same can be said of northern people of the south. 

Geography or the lack of it will not be a factor in people watching rugby league, it certainly doesn’t stop lower league football clubs averaging crowds that Broncos could only dream of. 

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Amazed that people still think crowds are grown by a new stadium rather than the hard graft of incrementally building and then engaging with a fanbase to deliver an experience that it wants. 

Last week vs Widnes, there were hundreds of fans new to the Broncos, hundreds of fans new to Plough Lane, and hundreds of fans new to both. But no programme - online ones are easy to do - to signpost supporters to the club/team/players, to facilities around the ground, to the club's web/social media, to a fixture list, etc. And no merchandise on sale - buy a scarf and you create an attachment. Then, 7 days later, no social media updates on the team's game at Halifax. 

Do folk think these new faces will return? 

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1 hour ago, NW10LDN said:

The club went part-time and now has a squad which isn't competitive. Moving to Plough Lane would be fine if the Broncos were going up to SL or at least being a top team in the Championship.

I agree totally. Unfortunately we are more likely to be in League 1 next season than the Super League as things look at moment.

What a change from four years ago..

 

 

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9 hours ago, langpark said:

And stadium quality has quadrupled, so it's a sweet deal IMO. 

It’s great that the club are launching initiatives to get more people in the ground but my point is that in the process are the number of the season ticket holders going down at the same time?

BTW Did anyone ask the long-standing fans of the club whether they would prefer to pay double for their season tickets but have a stadium of “quadruple the quality” or instead, stay as we are?

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35 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

It’s great that the club are launching initiatives to get more people in the ground but my point is that in the process are the number of the season ticket holders going down at the same time?

BTW Did anyone ask the long-standing fans of the club whether they would prefer to pay double for their season tickets but have a stadium of “quadruple the quality” or instead, stay as we are?

I guess not. But if crowds are up this season compared to last, then one could argue that the proof is in the pudding. 

Also, in all fairness. £22 does not go very far in London. So to me, compared to London's prices and cost of living, it does not sound all that unreasonable to me.  (my humble opinion as a non-Londoner). 

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On 03/02/2022 at 12:13, Damien said:

Football is king in London. Vast swathes couldn't give a damn about RU either.

My point was Rugby Union is the king of Rugby in London, and the two versions of Rugby compete for fans, players and investors.

London have gone to Wimbledon where they have a long established Wimbledon RUFC. Thread title is have we given up on London trying to convert it to League and my answer would be yes. 

A better dream may be Mr. Hughes moving back north (wasn't he born in Oldham) and him taking Oldham back up the leagues and outdoing Oldham Athletic....

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28 minutes ago, langpark said:

I guess not. But if crowds are up this season compared to last, then one could argue that the proof is in the pudding. 

Also, in all fairness. £22 does not go very far in London. So to me, compared to London's prices and cost of living, it does not sound all that unreasonable to me.  (my humble opinion as a non-Londoner)

As demonstrated every time you post on a Broncos thread.

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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22 minutes ago, steve oates said:

My point was Rugby Union is the king of Rugby in London, and the two versions of Rugby compete for fans, players and investors.

How to tell me you've never lived outside the M62 corridor without telling me you've never lived outside the M62 corridor ...

 

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, Archie Gordon said:

Amazed that people still think crowds are grown by a new stadium rather than the hard graft of incrementally building and then engaging with a fanbase to deliver an experience that it wants. 

Last week vs Widnes, there were hundreds of fans new to the Broncos, hundreds of fans new to Plough Lane, and hundreds of fans new to both. But no programme - online ones are easy to do - to signpost supporters to the club/team/players, to facilities around the ground, to the club's web/social media, to a fixture list, etc. And no merchandise on sale - buy a scarf and you create an attachment. Then, 7 days later, no social media updates on the team's game at Halifax. 

Do folk think these new faces will return? 

You miss the important point that they did find time to launch a new third kit.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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On 03/02/2022 at 12:02, Big Picture said:

I'm not suggesting that the lack of interest in only due to the lack of money to support the venture well.  I suggest that it's also due to their opponents coming from places which with the odd exception Londoners have never even heard of, let alone rate as being worth their time and money to make an effort to go and watch.  The sport having a name which will lead to some confusion about what it even is wouldn't have helped either.RU isn't king in London, not by any means.  London is big enough for a good few pro sports, but at present RL doesn't offer something which can cut through there.

Really?

Given small industrial towns like St. Helens, Wigan and Castleford feature most prominently on terrestrial TV all over Britain and have done since I was a kid decades ago then not only have Londoners heard of them and Rugby League,  they have also watched it in large numbers for decades.

When the money was going in and the stars were playing "London" RL attracted big crowds around 10,000 when top Aussie clubs came here, because Londoners certainly did know the game of RL, they knew all the big teams.

Not just the big English clubs but the big Aussie ones too........

Londoners have also been treated to massively attended challenge cup finals, I even saw one that packed out Twickenham plus Wembley has staged many big RL games not just cup finals, IIRC we beat the Aussies thanks to a Jonathan Davies super try at Wembley?

All of that cut through big time???

Tell me where do you live??

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14 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I think a period of sustained success is vital for a team to take off....we have not really had that.... though now just being in SL feels like it was one 

It would be the best thing for the sport in the UK for us to win SL ....the support base could grow exponentially very quickly

NOTHING succeeds like success.

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12 hours ago, crashmon said:

...Also you have to remember London is huge, from Heathrow in the west to say the Millenium Dome in the east is a larger distance than from St Helens to Leeds.

The straight line distance between central Leeds and central St Helens is about 55 miles. A straight line from Heathrow to the Millennium Dome is 20 miles (similar to Huddersfield to Castleford) .

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Just being on Sky does not mean Londoners watch it.

I sit in an office of about 30 people in west london. About 2 of them watch RL on TV, and they are both aussies who work in the office. They all support and watch football, and about half watch Union.  A lot of them watch NFL and NBA on sky, which are Yankee sports, but they don't go near rugby league, don't even consider it.  They also try and get tickets to the London NFL games.

Now its likely I can convince a few of them to come to the RLWC SF in London, but to any sort of Club RL game not a chance, yet they will go to see NFL at spurs.  There is no awareness of RL in London at all. Football is king

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The straight line distance between central Leeds and central St Helens is about 55 miles. A straight line from Heathrow to the Millennium Dome is 20 miles (similar to Huddersfield to Castleford) .

 

In terms of time spent, to get to Millennium dome from Heathrow would take you between 60-90 mins travel. I could be wrong but does it take an hour to get from Huddersfield to castleford (I really have no idea, not been to yorkshire in about 20 years)

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5 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Pull your finger out and try harder then  😀 

What would bring them out would be a England RL team playing much more frequently, and much more International RL. This then transisitions into club interest. But as we have no International game, your not going anywhere if you want to grow the sport out of the M62.

But this is a topic for a different thread, so I'll leave it at that

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It's not a mystery why RL or any sport struggles in London, football,  there's 13 Pro clubs in London alone, 14 if you count Watford. Plus 5 Pro or semi Pro in tier 5.

Arsenal, Tottenham,  Chelsea,  Brentford,  Crystal Palace,  West Ham,  Watford? , Millwall, QPR, Fulham, Wimbledon,  Charlton, Sutton Utd, Orient, and in the National League,  Bromley,  Dagenham,  Barnet, Wealdstone and Boreham Wood possibly though that is like Watford just outside the boundary. 

All these clubs are active in the community with schools programmes,  local business tie ups etc  , and have long histories. Even Wealdstone FC goes back to 1877.

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5 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

It's not a mystery why RL or any sport struggles in London, football,  there's 13 Pro clubs in London alone, 14 if you count Watford. Plus 5 Pro or semi Pro in tier 5.

Arsenal, Tottenham,  Chelsea,  Brentford,  Crystal Palace,  West Ham,  Watford? , Millwall, QPR, Fulham, Wimbledon,  Charlton Sutton Utd, Orient, and in the National League,  Bromley,  Dagenham,  Barnet, Wealdstone and Boreham Wood possibly though that is like Watford just outside the boundary. 

That’s a lazy answer, I feel. Football is probably the number one sport in most, if not all, towns and cities where Rugby League is played too. London Broncos aren’t short of fans because they play in London and have to compete with football, they’re short of fans because they’ve alienated plenty over the years, their marketing has been non-existent or poorly executed and they’ve never stayed in one area long enough to develop roots or allow the fans they did/do have to develop routines and set their own roots down in an area. 

I don’t believe location of opposition matters, some of the attendances for lower league football in London and the surrounding areas are averages that London Broncos could dream of.  

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43 minutes ago, crashmon said:

The straight line distance between central Leeds and central St Helens is about 55 miles. A straight line from Heathrow to the Millennium Dome is 20 miles (similar to Huddersfield to Castleford) .

 

In terms of time spent, to get to Millennium dome from Heathrow would take you between 60-90 mins travel. I could be wrong but does it take an hour to get from Huddersfield to castleford (I really have no idea, not been to yorkshire in about 20 years)

I don't doubt it will usually take longer to travel than it does from Huddersfield to Cas.

I just checked cos I thought it being a larger distance than from St Helens to Leeds didn't seem quite right.

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1 hour ago, steve oates said:

Really?

Given small industrial towns like St. Helens, Wigan and Castleford feature most prominently on terrestrial TV all over Britain and have done since I was a kid decades ago then not only have Londoners heard of them and Rugby League,  they have also watched it in large numbers for decades.

When the money was going in and the stars were playing "London" RL attracted big crowds around 10,000 when top Aussie clubs came here, because Londoners certainly did know the game of RL, they knew all the big teams.

Not just the big English clubs but the big Aussie ones too........

Londoners have also been treated to massively attended challenge cup finals, I even saw one that packed out Twickenham plus Wembley has staged many big RL games not just cup finals, IIRC we beat the Aussies thanks to a Jonathan Davies super try at Wembley?

All of that cut through big time???

Tell me where do you live??

Yes, really.

You evidently haven't been paying attention to what various posters have said about London and Londoners on this and other threads, and more generally about non-heartlanders on other threads.

Those who've posted about their experiences when trying to talk up the game with their work colleagues, neighbours, etc. have all made the same observation.  A clear majority had no idea that two versions of rugby even exist, and most of the remainder who do look down on RL because they perceive it as a small time regional game with limited appeal.

Also, a few posters on this thread who live (or have lived) in the south have confirmed that the southerners they know don't know anything about the RL towns up north.  And if they did know much about them that likely wouldn't help, because they likely wouldn't consider them the sort of places where big time major pro sport is played.

Yes Londoners have been treated to big matches which drew big crowds and yes a good percentage of those numbers didn't live in the North, but that doesn't automatically mean that they were Londoners or even southerners.  After the numbers of northerners who moved down south and expat Aussies and Kiwis are subtracted from those numbers, how many genuine southerners (let along Londoners) would be left?

In short, those big crowds are not evidence of RL cutting through at all, it's a fallacy to say otherwise.

As for me, I'm Canadian and I live in Canada, though I have British heritage so I know more about Britain than the average Canadian.  I know a thing or two about the attitudes and outlook of big city dwellers, I've seen that firsthand, and what the posters here who know Londoners have said about their complete lack of awareness of the North doesn't surprise me at all.

57 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

It's not a mystery why RL or any sport struggles in London, football,  there's 13 Pro clubs in London alone, 14 if you count Watford. Plus 5 Pro or semi Pro in tier 5.

Arsenal, Tottenham,  Chelsea,  Brentford,  Crystal Palace,  West Ham,  Watford? , Millwall, QPR, Fulham, Wimbledon,  Charlton, Sutton Utd, Orient, and in the National League,  Bromley,  Dagenham,  Barnet, Wealdstone and Boreham Wood possibly though that is like Watford just outside the boundary. 

All these clubs are active in the community with schools programmes,  local business tie ups etc  , and have long histories. Even Wealdstone FC goes back to 1877.

Those school programs, local business tie ups etc. wouldn't count for much if soccer wasn't a huge sport in London.  They piggyback on the interest in soccer which the big pro soccer clubs created and maintain by playing in big, glamourous competitions.  RL suffers because it doesn't have anything big or glamourous to compare with that.

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9 hours ago, steve oates said:

My point was Rugby Union is the king of Rugby in London, and the two versions of Rugby compete for fans, players and investors.

London have gone to Wimbledon where they have a long established Wimbledon RUFC. Thread title is have we given up on London trying to convert it to League and my answer would be yes. 

A better dream may be Mr. Hughes moving back north (wasn't he born in Oldham) and him taking Oldham back up the leagues and outdoing Oldham Athletic....

Wimbledon RUFC are irrelevant. They are an amateur club competing in the London league. Rugby Union is only strong in SW London. Saracens are in North London and they have struggled to fill their stadium.

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7 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Yes, really.

You evidently haven't been paying attention to what various posters have said about London and Londoners on this and other threads, and more generally about non-heartlanders on other threads.

Those who've posted about their experiences when trying to talk up the game with their work colleagues, neighbours, etc. have all made the same observation.  A clear majority had no idea that two versions of rugby even exist, and most of the remainder who do look down on RL because they perceive it as a small time regional game with limited appeal.

Also, a few posters on this thread who live (or have lived) in the south have confirmed that the southerners they know don't know anything about the RL towns up north.  And if they did know much about them that likely wouldn't help, because they likely wouldn't consider them the sort of places where big time major pro sport is played.

Yes Londoners have been treated to big matches which drew big crowds and yes a good percentage of those numbers didn't live in the North, but that doesn't automatically mean that they were Londoners or even southerners.  After the numbers of northerners who moved down south and expat Aussies and Kiwis are subtracted from those numbers, how many genuine southerners (let along Londoners) would be left?

In short, those big crowds are not evidence of RL cutting through at all, it's a fallacy to say otherwise.

As for me, I'm Canadian and I live in Canada, though I have British heritage so I know more about Britain than the average Canadian.  I know a thing or two about the attitudes and outlook of big city dwellers, I've seen that firsthand, and what the posters here who know Londoners have said about their complete lack of awareness of the North doesn't surprise me at all.

Those school programs, local business tie ups etc. wouldn't count for much if soccer wasn't a huge sport in London.  They piggyback on the interest in soccer which the big pro soccer clubs created and maintain by playing in big, glamourous competitions.  RL suffers because it doesn't have anything big or glamourous to compare with that.

You don't know anything. Most of the clubs in the SL are cities or big towns which have football clubs familiar to Londoners. Hull, Wigan, Leeds, Huddersfield have all been in the Premier League. Salford has the two Manchester clubs next door. St. Helens is in Merseyside which is home to Liverpool and Everton. What you also fail to realise is that 40% of Londoners are immigrants so they won't have in depth knowledge about the North nor can they be expected to.

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